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10 December 2008

1 December was the 1st day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

1 December 2008

Canwest News Service - 100 countries are set to sign a treaty to outlaw cluster bombs (29 November 2008) Diplomats and politicians from around the world are about to outlaw one of the deadliest, indiscriminate non-nuclear weapons on the planet. On Wednesday, leaders from more than 100 countries will gather in Oslo, Norway, to sign a treaty on cluster munitions. The agreement will not stop the death and maiming of innocent victims overnight, but ultimately will prove one of the most significant weapons treaties in modern history. Wednesday also marks the anniversary of the 1997 signing of the international treaty to ban landmines—a Canadian-led initiative considered one of the country's finest diplomatic achievements. The cluster treaty, a model of its landmines predecessor, was crafted at a conference in Dublin earlier this year attended by diplomats, arms experts and leaders of the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of more than 300 non-governmental organizations from 80 countries. 'What we have is a new treaty that effectively outlaws all existing cluster munitions,' said Paul Hannon, executive director of the NGO (non-governmental organization) Mines Action Canada. Those who ratify the treaty—the final step after this week's signing—will have to destroy them within eight years. By outlawing these clusters, pro-ban nations hope production of the weapon will cease. Canada, which is destroying its cluster stockpile, is neither a user nor producer of cluster munitions. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is scheduled to be in Oslo to sign. Canadian negotiators—along with those from several other countries, including Norway, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria, and the Holy See*—wanted the treaty to contain financial compensation and material help for cluster victims. As a result, it carries the strongest provisions for victim assistance in international law.

The Globe and Mail on Canadian third-quarter GDP rebounds (1 December 2008) The Canadian economy managed to expand at a 1.3 per cent annual pace in the third quarter. It was the strongest pace of growth in a year, and made Canada one of the few advanced countries in the world to show any expansion between July and September. Economists had been forecasting modest third-quarter growth of about 1 per cent, so the official number was somewhat stronger than expectations. A 0.5 per cent pickup in growth on the goods side of the economy was the first growth for goods in more than a year. The services side of the economy expanded 0.4 per cent.

From a Canadian Economic Press report on this: The resurgence in the economy came as production of goods rebounded and business investment grew. The mining sector led the charge in resurgent production. The manufacturing sector also saw its production increase. Production in the services sector was up, with notable gains in the public sector, retail, and wholesale trade.

From a Bloomberg News report on this: 'Canada was hanging in there better than most economies' in the quarter, said Doug Porter, an economist with BMO Capital Markets. On a monthly basis, the economy grew 0.1 per cent in September, after shrinking 0.5 per cent in August. The September rebound was led by wholesalers' 1.6 per cent gain and retailers' 0.4 per cent rise, the fifth in six months.

From a CBC News report on this: Personal income grew 0.7 per cent in the third quarter, a slight acceleration from the second quarter. Corporations recorded strong profit growth of 5.7 per cent, on top of the robust pace of 8.6 per cent set in the second quarter. This represents the largest back-to-back quarterly growth since 2004.

The Financial Post - Ray of hope in stormy economy (1 December 2008) The brightest beacons for hope during these trying times can be found all around: They are the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that constitute almost half of Canada's gross domestic product and account for 60% of all private sector employment. Early in October, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business initiated a series of weekly surveys. During that time, the perspectives of more than 5,300 small business owners from across the country were received. The results were both informative and reassuring. Small business owners, while less optimistic than previously about their expectations for the next 12 months, were far from being in despair. They are not yet joining the ranks of those who are saying the sky is falling. Just the opposite is true. Small businesses have been found to be holding on to staff, with 84% maintaining and/or increasing their number of employees.

The Toronto Star - The upside of the economic downturn (30 November 2008) The late British economist John Maynard Keynes, is getting a lot of airtime these days. There is an important thread of Keynesian thought that is moving back into the collective consciousness. There is, after all, something called the 'long term'. This may be the downturn's salutary upside: People are starting to bring the longer term back into view. It can be seen in the big push for government spending on infrastructure—to repair and build roads, transit, airports, and dams, anything that keeps people safe and facilitates commerce over the long haul. Infrastructure [a key element in promoting economic health over] the long term, has moved back up the agenda. And there's something inherently optimistic about that.

The Canadian Press - Audiences flocking to the arts despite economic doom and gloom (29 November 2008) The sound of symphonies and ballets filling Canadian concert halls appears to be drowning out the crashes of the faltering economy. Fine arts groups across the country are reporting strong sales for the Christmas season. Whether it's the Toronto Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, Theatre Calgary, or the touring Ballet Jorgen, many organizations across Canada say they've been seeing sales that are on par with or stronger than previous years. A Conference Board of Canada report, released earlier this year, concluded arts and culture generated C$84.6 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits for Canada in 2007—or 7.4 per cent of the total gross domestic product.

The Canadian Press - Manitoba looking to eco-friendly farming (29 November 2008) Manitoba is taking a hard look at its farming practices—from the field to the kitchen table—to see how they might be harming the environment. The government has put out two tenders for environmental studies. One states that while agricultural producers are stewards of the land, there is 'growing concern about the risk to . . . air, water, soil, and biodiversity from agricultural practices'; and it will use a 'green' lens to look at the entire production cycle for crops. The other says the province is considering a number of new initiatives to make the agriculture industry more environmentally friendly. Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk says roughly 30 per cent of greenhouse gases are attributed to farming. 'Our government is very committed to reducing greenhouse gases, meeting our Kyoto targets and protecting and improving water quality,' Ms Wowchuk says.

The Globe and Mail on increased diversity in Toronto city agencies and boards (1 December 2008) Toronto politicians are celebrating their success over the past two years in recruiting visible minorities with skills and experience to city agencies and boards. Civic appointments committee chairwoman Janet Davis says that historically, nominees 'have not been representative of the demographics of the city. Too often they were patronage appointments.' That changed with a 2006 council policy, vigorously pursued by Ms Davis's committee, to widen the pool of talent. Kenyan Wangari Muriuki, who arrived in Toronto in 1992, is among the new faces. Ms Muriuki has years of front-line experience with an organization that assists the homeless. The board and the civic appointments committee saw value in her credentials. 'What people like Wangari bring to the board is experience and talent combined with a perspective of the diverse community she comes from,' Ms Davis said. 'When we have boards that are reflective of the community, they are stronger and more effective.' Last week, a city report gave a tally of the push for diversity: a boost in the proportion of racial minorities to 31 per cent of appointees from 22 per cent in 2006.

The Toronto Star - 'We are one people,' religious leaders say (1 December 2008) Emblazoned on the entrance of Brampton's Hindu Sabha Temple is a simple, hopeful slogan that is a basic tenet of the Hindu faith: 'World Is One Family'. The Hindu Federation Canada convened a pan-religious service here Sunday meant to serve as both a memorial to the people whose lives were lost in Mumbai—and a reminder that violence only begets violence. Hindu Federation Canada made an open call to an interfaith coalition of leaders who came to the temple to speak to leaders from the Muslim, Sikh, and Christian communities, as well as Buddhist monks—all with a common message. Among the speakers were prominent members of the Muslim community, including Habeeb Alli of the North American Muslim Foundation. Roopnauth Sharma, president of the federation and spiritual leader of Mississauga's Shri Ram Mandir, told the gathering: 'Today, we remind ourselves we are one people.'

* The episcopal jurisdiction of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

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